Wonderful news, you have sold your house and have to make arrangements for moving. There is a (e.g.) 60 day closing. What do I do now? I want to do it, but I don’t want it to cost me and arm and a leg.
You can call that moving company, and it is so much easier. They come in, give you an estimate, pack it all up and all you have to do is put Fido in the car and drive to your new home. Remember that arm and leg I was talking about?
If you decide to go this route, please be aware that all moving companies are not equal. Nor do they charge the same prices. Before you decide to call one, call the Better Business Bureau and get the ratings on the different companies. You can also get some of this information online.
Call and set up appointments with several different movers. Don’t just call the big guys; call some of the smaller moving companies as well. I personally had a great move with a small company and it cost about 50% less.
Have them provide you with an itemized evaluation for their services. Make sure you get all information in writing, not verbal. That, I think, is self explanatory. After you have all the estimates, you can compare the prices and services. Helps make a more informed decision.
Before you make the final decision, check out doing it yourself. Find out the cost of hiring the truck, there are several rental companies in the phone book. You are going to have dates ready, for example: pick up truck June 1, return June 10. Where are you moving to? Example: Leaving Phoenix, moving to Little Rock, Arkansas.
Depending on where you are moving, there may be an extra charge if Little Rock is not a high turnover area. What I mean is, the truck may sit idle for a while and not be rented, so the company loses money.
Next, what comes with the truck? Are there moving blankets, hand truck or dolly? If not, how much does it cost to rent them? Make sure you rent a truck with a lift gate. All of them come with a full tank of gas, and you must return it that way or pay a really high price for that gas. Make sure you sweep out the truck before returning it; there is a charge for cleaning.
Find out what happens if their truck breaks down in transit. Even if they should provide another truck are they also going to provide the manpower to unload and reload? If this should happen and hopefully not, it is going to delay your trip. Make sure there will be no further charges if you return the truck late. If it means the truck will have to be repaired and you will have to pay motel bills and food for this delay, who bears responsibility for the charges?
The rental company can usually advise you with the size of the truck you will need. Certain sizes will move a 2 bedroom house and some will move a 4 bedroom house. Do not get a bigger truck than you need. If you do there is more chance for cargo shifting and causing damage.
The next thing to think about is how many friends do you really have? I am making a joke, but how many friends would be willing to load the truck on this end; how about unloading on the other end?
You can make enquiries at one of your moving companies about whether or not their men would take on side jobs.
Or go to your local day labor company and ask if they have any men experienced in doing this sort of job? You want people that are reliable and because they are being paid, will show up.
Also be aware that your Homeowners Insurance Policy is affected here as well. Pray that no one trips and breaks a leg. Or have them sign a waiver before they start work.
I am not trying to scare you out of doing it yourself. I simply want you to think about what you are getting into, either way.
If you decide to go ahead with using a moving company, remember that you can still save a lot of money by packing yourself. You do not have to buy the expensive boxes from the movers; you can provide your own.
Now, if you want to do it yourself, take a look around your home and decide which pieces of furniture are going to need packing blankets around them. You must pad between the pieces or there are going to be many scratches and gouges that you certainly don’t want. If the truck does not come with enough, then decide if you want to use your own blankets. Grandma won’t appreciate it if you use that heirloom quilt that she made for you.
(HERE’S WHERE THE PENNY PINCHER STEPS IN)
So head to the nearest thrift shop and see what they have in the way of blankets, bedspreads, etc. They won’t cost you much and will probably be cheaper than renting. You can decide after your move to keep them, just in case, or donate them back to a thrift shop and take it off your taxes.
You are going to need boxes, do not buy new ones from the rental company or from the moving company. It cost too much to do this. Check your local newspaper for people getting rid of boxes, sometimes they give them away for free, just to get rid of them. If not, the cost should still be low.
Go to your local department stores and ask them for boxes. The Dollar Stores get in such a high volume of merchandise and they are usually always willing to give the boxes to you.
You can also check out the local moving companies. They sell used boxes for a reduced price. This is a good way to go especially if you need wardrobes.
No matter where you get your boxes, make sure they are sturdy. You do not want them to collapse with your good china inside.
Now you need packing paper. It is not ever a good idea to use newspaper. The ink used in printing will transfer to your possessions. Contact your local newspaper and see if they sell roll ends. This is paper left on the roll after they make the run and is not printed. Usually they do and it is very cheap. You have to cut it or tear it off the roll to use it, but well worth the effort.
You can of course, go to the moving company and buy the packs of paper that they use. It is all pretty and uniformed sized, but expensive!!
If you need to use bubble wrap at all, then you are going to have to buy it from a place like Office Max. They sell it in big rolls and I really can’t tell you the cost.
Purchase your packing tape from Walmart, Dollar Store or anywhere other than the moving companies. They frankly charge too much. You need regular packing tape, brown or clear. It really does not matter. In some instances you may need strapping tape, so have a roll on hand.
A black marking pen is essential in making sure you know that a particular box goes in the kitchen, bathroom or wherever. Also to be able to mark FRAGILE on your good china or crystal boxes.
Moving – Packing Materials Guide
Moving packing materials list & usage
Book box is 1.5 Cubic Foot. You use book box to pack your books or small articles.
Linen box is 3.0 Cubic Foot. You use linen box to pack Linens, Towels, Pillows. Use this for the purpose intended or pack linens in with breakable items.
Dish box is 5.1 Cubic Foot. (sturdier then the above boxes) You use dish box to pack dishes, China, Glass articles, Lamps, Ceramics…
Extra Large Box:
Extra large box is 6.1 Cubic Foot. You use extra large box for light weight household articles, comforters, linens…
Wardrobe box & bars:
Small wardrobe box is 12.0 Cubic Foot. Large wardrobe box is 14.0 Cubic Foot. You use wardrobe boxes to pack all your clothes.
Small mirror box & large mirror box. You use mirror boxes to pack mirrors, pictures or paintings.
Small mattress cover and large mattress cover. You use them to cover different sizes of mattresses.
You use bubble wrap to cover fragile screens. Bubble wrap is also use to pack glass and all other fragile items.
White paper or newspaper: (unprinted, see above)
To cover kitchen appliances, Dishes, Glasses…Packing Tip – don’t cover household article with printed newspaper. The ink from the newspaper will stay on the item that you pack after your move.
Moving pads/regular pads:
You need moving pads to cover and to protect furniture, TV, Sculptures…
For marking the boxes, what’s in them, what room they go in.
You need plastic bags for small appliances, clothing, toys, screws. Anything that might get lost or misplaced. Have a small box on hand in which to place all of these items.
Do not forget the most important packing material for the packing process.
Here are some great tips and good information on packing.